Do It Yourself 4x4 conversions
Allot of people want a have a new 4x4 converted van. Many can't afford a new conversion and many of the used vans are pretty hammered. The other option is to build your own. But don't be fooled into thinking it's easy. If you are not mechanically inclined, you may be getting in over your head. Pathfinder 4wd Van Accessories can supply most of the suspension and steering parts to make the job easier. You will need to find specific axles, transfer cases and other components to get it right. The following pages of info have been written to help point you in the right direction.
It must be understood that many of the operations described herein can, if done improperly, can cause an serious accident. It must also be agreed that distributors and manufactures of the parts used in building your conversion cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for any accident arising from the use of their products. If in doubt, contact one of the professional van converters to have your van converted.
The following pages are a guide to converting your van. But there are many different ways to build a conversion, we are only putting forth the version we are comfortable with.
Option A: Buy a rusted or wrecked 4x4 converted van and strip the 4wd parts for installation into another van. Look over the parts closely. There were some crappy conversion companies all through the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s that converted vans using axle housings cobbled together by cutting the tubes, swapping the tubes to opposite sides and re-welding them. Look for cracks and weld repairs and avoid these axles. They came on Ford, Chev and Dodge vans with leaf spring front suspensions that had the shackles located at the rear. Original Pathfinder vans have their share of problems, most of them are design issues. Feel free to call if you have any questions about a van or parts you might consider buying.
Option B: Swap your van onto a 4x4 van chassis. E-series Fords from 1976-91 seem to share the same body mount locations ahead of the rear axle. For a body swap, the donor van and 2wd van to be converted should share the same wheel base. The GM and Dodge vans are uni-body and don’t have frames to swap. You will have to go with option.
Option C: Pathfinder offers basic suspension kits, steering and other accessories to convert your 2wd van to 4x4 using basic pick-up parts. These parts are universal in design and can be used however you like.
- Chevrolet & GMC vans
- Ford vans
- Dodge & Chrysler vans